Candidate statement:

I’m John Deng Duot and I hope I’ll be lucky enough to be re-elected as your ASVP for Diversity. Diversity makes us stronger as a community and no one should be neglected because of their identities or backgrounds. I experienced the realities of voiceless peoples seven years ago in Sudan; I saw death, violence and families shattered by discrimination and neglect.
This past year I’m grateful to have helped lobby legislators in Olympia for higher education, lead diversity initiatives on campus, and create minority scholarships. On behalf of the Associated Students, I voted for marriage equality and against the coal train and an ethnic studies ban.

Through my position I’ve learned a lot, so please join me in creating a more inclusive and welcoming Western.

Why are you seeking this position?

I am seeking this position because I have been successful this year as vice president for diversity.

I helped lead the effort that created minority scholarships, put “diversity” in all 250 AS employee job descriptions, lobbied in Olympia for marriage equality, higher education, [helped with] innovation of the Ethic Student Center, disAbility Outreach Center with technologies, and sponsored diversity initiative for the AS.

I also created a representative student employment committee and diversity task force to empower the student bodies. That’s why I’m seeking this position a second time.

What do you think is the role of the VP for Diversity?

The role for VP for diversity is responsible for representing all students, regardless of their identity.

No one should be neglected or discriminated against because of their gender, ability, age, religion, appearance, ethnicity, language, life experience, nationality, race or sexuality.

What is one issue affecting students that you would like to focus or work on next year?

My goals next year are increasing participation in the Viking Lobby Day, which will be Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2013, when the AS will be traveling to Olympia to work with legislation from across the state; helping Western to learn and potentially adapt their diversity practices, policies and procedures from other universities so that we can help all students, regardless of their identity and helping Western to increase diversity and empowerment of more students deserved on the university, AS decision making, and be part of the committees.

I’m committed to collaborating with any department and putting student opinions and voices first.